Zika Virus

Advisory No. 4

Update of Zika Virus

Florida Atlantic University has been working in coordination with local, state and federal entities to ensure the safety of the University community and is taking any necessary steps to address this important concern as it impacts our service areas. In response to the Florida Department of Health's (FDOH) recent finding of a non-travel case of the virus in one of FAU’s service areas, the University is stepping up its efforts to educate and protect the community:

The University community is urged to adhere to the following recommendations:

  • Appropriate Protective Actions include
    • Avoid outdoor activities one hour before and one hour after dusk and dawn
    • Wear protective clothing such as long pants, long sleeved shirts, socks and shoes when mosquitos present.
    • Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) registered insect repellents and follow manufacturer’s directions.
    • Repair torn screening on windows, porches and doors
  • Pregnant women: Pregnant women, or those considering pregnancy, are strongly encouraged to review the CDC Zika Virus Information for Pregnant Women website.
  • Standing/Collecting Water: Environmental Health and Safety and Facilities Management staff are working to identify areas of pooling/standing water and draining these areas.
    • Please drain containers of standing water where mosquitos can lay eggs. A capful is enough to encourage breeding.
    • Please report areas of standing water or any type of containers collecting water by submitting a work order (under “Grounds” then “Standing/Collecting Water”) or calling your respective campus’ work control office.
  • Students: Visit the FAU’s Student Health Services page.
  • Events and Activities: Please use appropriate protective actions when engaging in outdoor activities, including, but is not limited to: Daycare, K-12 & camp outdoor activities, outdoor events, athletic events and practices, work, research or study performed outdoors.
  • Traveling to areas affected by Zika: CDC has issued travel notices for countries and areas of South Florida affected by the illness. FAU students, staff and faculty traveling to these areas should consider the risks and seek advice from their medical doctor if there are health related concerns.

Symptoms and Transmission: Only about 1 in 5 people infected with Zika virus exhibit symptoms. Zika fever is a mild illness. Severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon. Signs and symptoms of Zika fever may include: acute onset of low-grade fever, rash, joint pain, conjunctivitis (reddening of eye), body aches, headache, eye pain, and vomiting. Treatment is based on symptoms since there is no specific treatment against the virus. Illness typically resolves within a week. The real danger applies to pregnant women who acquire the virus. Zika has been linked to microcephaly (a serious birth defect in which babies are born with an unusually small head and underdeveloped brain) and problems in infants, including eye defects, hearing loss, and impaired growth. Sexual transmission of the virus from men to women has been reported and represents another potential threat to women of childbearing age. Currently there is no vaccine or medicine to treat the illness.

Information Resources and Tools

Further information can be obtain from the following links. In addition, there is a Zika Virus Information Hotline 1-855-622-6735 for Florida residents to speak to a Healthcare Professional. Please contact Environmental Health and Safety at 297-3129 or Student Health Services 297-3512 if you have any questions or concerns.

Florida Department of Health - Zika Homepage: http://www.floridahealth.gov/diseases-and-conditions/zika-virus

Centers for Disease Control - Zika Homepage: http://www.cdc.gov/zika

Zika Prevention Kit for Pregnant Women: https://www.cdc.gov/zika/pdfs/zika-prevention-kit-english.pdf

Mosquito Protection Flyer: http://www.fau.edu/ehs/info/Mosquito-Protection.pdf

CDC Zika Basics Posters: http://www.cdc.gov/zika/fs-posters

We will continue to keep you updated on this matter.